It’s a spectacular development in an already spectacular legal battle: In December 2012, a 20-year-old shot dead 20 schoolchildren and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

These are facts that the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who is prominent in the USA, disputed on his Infowars news channel at the time with confused false information that hurt relatives. Among other things, Jones had questioned the authenticity of the massacre and defamed the families of the deceased as actors.

The victim’s parents then sued for defamation and spreading conspiracy theories for at least $150 million. Courts in Texas and Connecticut had already declared Jones liable for damages in the case of defamation – since Thursday (local time) it has also been clear how much will ultimately be due

Jones has to pay more than $4 million in compensation to a victim’s parents. A court in Texas decided that, as several US media reported unanimously. What happened earlier in the Texas courtroom on Wednesday may not have mitigated Jones’ sentence. Responsible for this: his own legal team.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Mark Bankston explained during the hearing that the other party “fucked it up and sent him a digital copy of all chat messages and emails” from the conspiracy theorist’s cell phone 12 days ago. With quite explosive information for the case.

Jones had claimed that he hadn’t published or shared any Sandy Hook conspiracy theories through Infowars in years. However, according to Bankston, the accidentally sent messages would document that misinformation was still being approved by the Infowars boss five years after the tragedy.

The documents also apparently provide information about the financial background of Infowar. The right-wing news portal, which was blocked on both Facebook and Twitter, filed for bankruptcy in April 2022, its parent company Free Speech Systems in July. Jones cited his company’s poor financial situation as a mitigating factor.

However, according to Bankston, Inforwars made over $800,000 a day for several days in 2018. This is also evident from the news. At the beginning of the trial, Jones had claimed that the highest amount was $200,000.

What is clear is that even after being excluded by Facebook and Twitter, the portal apparently remained extremely profitable. In addition to fake news, Infowars earns its money primarily with food and dietary supplements for disasters.

The suspension of his lawyers has now become expensive for the conspiracy theorist. And even new legal problems threaten. The other side’s lawyer asked Jones about the obvious false testimony: “Do you know what perjury is?”